HC Deb 17 September 2004 vol 424 cc1981-2W
Tim Loughton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of recent advice from the Chairman of the National Radiological Protection Board on potential dangers of radiation levels from mobile phones; [189420]

Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (blood stream) laboratory reports and methicillin susceptibility (voluntary reporting scheme):

England and Wales, 1990–2003

MRSA1 Percentage2 Percentage annual increase MSSA3 No information4 Total
1990 68 2 3,924 865 4,857
1991 78 2 15 4,101 788 4,967
1992 114 3 46 4,373 560 5,047
1993 210 4 84 4,902 635 5,747
1994 452 9 115 4,784 724 5,960
1995 849 14 89 5,132 618 6,599
1996 1,603 22 89 5,523 640 7,766
1997 2,422 30 51 5,555 1,367 9,344

(2) what plans he has to publish new guidelines on potential health effects of mobile phones. [189433]

Miss Melanie Johnson

The National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) provides advice to Government and others on exposure to electromagnetic fields, including those from sources such as mobile phones. The present chairman of the NRPB, Sir William Stewart, was formerly the chair of the independent expert group on mobile phones (IEGMP). The recommendations in the 2000 IEGMP report, known as the Stewart Report, form the basis of current Government policy on mobile phones and health. The report is available at www.iegmp.org.uk.

In its new advice. published in March 2004, the NRPB recommends adopting for the United Kingdom the 1998 guidelines of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (Documents of the NRPB, Vol 15 No2, 2004). This advice covers the range of exposures from mobile phone technology, for which the limits are based on preventing effects caused by whole or partial body heating. This advice is available at www.nrpb.org. All mobile phones have to comply with the international guidelines.

The NRPB keeps world-wide scientific developments on mobile phones and health under review on behalf of Government. The board of the NRPB is currently preparing a new document summarising the information produced since the Stewart Report. It will also give further ad vice to the public on mobile phone technologies and health. This report will be published in the next few months.

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